Maintaining U.S. Soy Market Share in Morocco
USSEC, in close partnership with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS), organized several events within the Maghreb region of North Africa to reemphasize the image of the U.S. as a major supplier of high-quality soybeans and soybean products. U.S. soybean products have traditionally enjoyed a dominant market share with a 100 percent share for soybean meal strengthened by the U.S. – Morocco Free Trade Agreement. However, reduced import duties on South America soybean meal in 2013 impacted U.S. market share. USSEC has had a program in Morocco for more than 20 years, working closely with the livestock sector, particularly the poultry and feed industries, and providing numerous teams with training and technical assistance. USSEC continues to promote the intrinsic advantages of U.S. soybean products to differentiate U.S. soybeans and build customer preference. Objectives of the programs developed by USSEC and with FAS support include increasing the use of U.S. soybean meal in poultry feed, addressing customers’ issues and needs, and competing with other unsustainable protein sources supplying end users with a reliable, trusted, constant quality source of highly available nutrients. Poultry roundtables for the Maghreb region’s feed industry, held over the last three years, as well as trade servicing, have successfully gathered leading poultry and feed customers from Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia, reflecting the importance of the three markets to U.S. commercial interests. Morocco, the largest buyer of U.S. soybean products in the Maghreb region, also remains among the top 10 export markets for U.S. soybean oil. Morocco remains one of the leading soybean meal users in North Africa and the Middle East with an estimated 600,000 ton market and the U.S. market share for soybeans in 2014/2015 has reached 73 percent.